Rubin Kazan F.C. vs. Wigan Athletic F.C.
Date: Thursday 7th November 2013
Venue: Central Stadium
Referee: Huseyin Gocek
A first defeat in the Europa League for Wigan Athletic leaves them second in group D and five points off top spot.
In the main Wigan looked very good and should have taken at least a point from Russia but one defensive mishap cost them.
Oleg Kuzmin received the ball after it had sailed over the head of out-of-position Wigan defender, Stephen Crainey. This, when coupled with a James McClean who was not switched, led to the one and only goal of the game. Kuzmin dribbled the ball into the six yard box and smashed it past Lee Nicholls who was helpless in the Wigan goal.
As the game progressed, Wigan got better and pushed Kazan largely out of the game. Their best chance fell to Holt who headed over from 12 yards after a brilliant cross from the seldom seen Roger Espinoza. Holt should have scored, having time to control the ball.
Then, Nick Powell, who scored Wigan’s only goal in the reverse fixture two weeks ago, saw a shot travel just wide of the post after showing his Manchester United quality by losing two Kazan defenders.
With not long to go in the game Espinoza once again delivered an excellent cross which Thomas Rogne headed against the crossbar. Finally, a McClean flick from a Crainey corner came close to giving Wigan a deserved point but Rubin Kazan held on to stay top of the table with 10 points.
It seems that the Wigan Athletic players have been practising the famous crossbar challenge a little too much as they manage to hit the woodwork an awful lot! That is a problem that Owen Coyle desperately needs to sort out if his team are to gain promotion from the Championship but overall another excellent European performance from the Latics who still hold their destiny in their own hands.